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Place, identity and nationhood: The Northern Territory intervention as the final act of a dying nation

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The paper argues that the Australian government's intervention in the Northern pre-empts the end of Australia as a single nation state. Through a discussion of national identity, history and particular key (post 1965) policies/Acts and actions by the federal Government the paper considers the place of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in relation to the Australian nation-state and each other. The paper argues there has been a continued social and political marginalisation, displacement and exclusion of Indigenous Australians and continued construction of them as'others' to 'Australianness'. It argues that at so a pivotal point in the history of this country, in the Post Apology society, the Intervention is a watershed institutionalising racism towards indigenous Australians in the new millennium. It suggests place and identity within the 'Australian' nation-state need to be re-framed for the possibility for Indigenous inclusion and/or provide for the sovereignty of the Indigenous nations. Without such action it suggests the Howard/Rudd choirs sing to the ghost of the nation-state as he walks by the billabongs the wells of racism to which non-Indigenous leaders have ever returned.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education, Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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